The word means 'change of form.' Change is what lays beneath all of art and much of science. Artists turn raw materials into something with form and meaning. Art can show or conceal its change, hint at cryptic connections, or help us imagine something new.
The world of physics is also about constant change. In physics, neutrinos – tiny subatomic particles, lighter than the other elementary particles – change from one form into another as they move through space. For example, one type of neutrino, called an 'electron neutrino' because it reacts only to electrons, might suddenly change, and react also to muons – another type of particle – as if it were a muon neutrino.
It's the particle equivalent of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, and back again. In art as well as science, even when the forms we see look very different, they may have a common origin, and vice versa.
THE NOBEL PRIZE
Tiny neutrinos. The second-most numerous particles in the universe (after photons), they speed through everything -- your body, the air, your breakfast, a ten-ton truck – almost never interacting with matter. It took decades before they were actually identified. For a long time they were referred to as the 'ghost particle,' and until recently it was believed they had no mass. But in 2015, Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald won the Physics Prize for their discovery of 'neutrino oscillations'. They found that these tiny particles change their form as they move. Their ability to metamorphose means that neutrinos almost certainly have mass after all, and this discovery opened up new ideas about what elementary particles can be and do.
The 2015 The story of this discovery and prize
A poem about neutrinos (which is now scientifically disproven!)